Vanderpool gives business a shot

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

COAL GROVE — Kathy Vanderpool had a perfectly good reason for starting her new business, Straight From The Heart.

“I’m tired of working for other people and making them money,” she said. So she opened the craft and gift shop, located at 323 Marion Pike in Coal Grove, on Aug. 4.

She had worked for florists two or three times and spent the past year and a half working at Hobby Lobby in Russell, Ky., as a floral manager as well as doing flower arrangements for proms and weddings.

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Three months ago, she decided to make a go of it as a business owner and to see if her primitive art pieces would sell.

She started making pieces 20 years ago after seeing pieces that she liked, but thought were too expensive.

“I got quite a bit of money in it and I thought I’m just going to do it myself,” Vanderpool said. “So I went out and bought the saws, the routers and the tables and there I went.”

Besides cutting, crafting and painting wood pieces, she does “whatever strikes my fancy,” including pictures, Christmas tree bows and toppers, pew bows, bath ensembles, shower curtains and shelves.

One of her biggest pieces is a six-foot tall shelf that she made out of wood from an old barn.

“I found the barn wood out in a field covered in mud,” she said. “And I brought it home, pressure washed it and made the shelves,” Vanderpool said.

Since not everyone likes crafts, Vanderpool brought other artistic friends into the fold to fill up the six-room shop.

“Each one is a different d/cor so if your liking is not primitive or country, there is Victorian, or whatever,” she said.

The other artists include painter Sharon Schmutz of Ashland, Ky., Rena Abshire of South Point who does glass block pieces, Rhonda Watson of Coal Grove who does needle point and embroidery, and Sheila Turner of Ashland, Ky., who does still life photographs.

Before opening the shop, Vanderpool sold their wares from her Coal Grove home.

“That got a little irritating, people thought they could stop by at dinner time or at midnight and ask if they could look around,” she said. “I couldn’t handle that, I needed at least a little bit of privacy.”

So she opened the shop she always wanted. It’s close to home and has good access with the overpass close by.

“I just thought this would be a great place to start,” she said.